LGBT Foundation : Sugar & Spice 2016

LGBT Foundation : Sugar & Spice 2016

Photo : Attendees enjoying the Sugar & Spice event

Manchester’s biggest free festival for anyone who self-identifies as a lesbian and bisexual woman* some or all of the time, took place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of March 2016 in celebration of International Women’s Day. This weekend also marked Sugar and Spice’s tenth anniversary and was themed ‘Women Out Loud’, celebrating women making their voices heard.

Organised by leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity, LGBT Foundation, the event saw close to 200 people attending across the weekend, with eleven different workshops going on per day and 27 staff and volunteers supporting the running of the event!

Some of our most popular workshops included ‘Getting Started in Activism’, ‘African Drumming’, ‘Laugh yourself Better’, ‘Henna Hand Decoration’, ‘Intro into Belly Dancing’ and ‘Amazing Zines’. To end the day on Saturday, we also had an amazing panel of inspirational lesbian and bisexual women – Emma Goswell, Mary Murphy, Jaheda Choudrey-Potter and Rachel Mann – discussing their ‘Tunes that Matter’.

In addition to the workshops, the team at the LGBT Foundation provided holistic therapies, a changing space and a quiet space/multi-faith prayer room to help ensure that the event was relaxing and accessible to everyone.

Attendees commented that Sugar and Spice is ‘fun, interesting, friendly and gives you a sense of belonging and acceptance’, that it is ‘one of the best weekends of the year’ and that it is a ‘safe space’.

“Attendees commented that Sugar and Spice is ‘fun, interesting, friendly and gives you a sense of belonging and acceptance’, that it is ‘one of the best weekends of the year’ and that it is a ‘safe space.'”

Photo : Anyone for some ‘African Drumming’ and ‘Henna Hand Decoration’? Both were popular with attendees.

Significantly, attendees acknowledged that having women-centred spaces to celebrate lesbian and bisexual women is both ‘important’ and ‘rare’.

Claudia Carvell, the Women’s Programme Co-ordinator at LGBT Foundation similarly acknowledges that ‘the voices, perspectives and experiences of lesbian and bisexual women tend to be overlooked both when discussing women’s issues and LGBT issues. That’s why it is essential that we continue to provide a space where anyone who identifies with being a lesbian and bisexual woman can meet others, learn new skills, discuss the issues that matter to them and feel empowered’.

If you want to find out more about the services offered by LGBT Foundation’s Women’s Programme, to locate resources or to sign up for the monthly e-bulletin, please visit www.lgbt.foundation/women

*The LGBT Foundation services for women are open to anyone who self-identifies as a woman some or all of the time and is lesbian, bisexual or questioning their sexual orientation. This includes non-binary or gender-fluid people who want to access a women’s space.

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About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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